Toyota Motor on Tuesday reported group global sales for calendar year 2008 down 4% year on year to 8,972,000 units, its first such dip in a decade.

Toyota brand sales fell 5% to 7,996,000 but Daihatsu was up 4% to 866,000 and Hino 3% to 110,000.

Group sales in Japan fell 5% to 2,153,000 while volume overseas was off 4% to 6,819,000.

The Toyota brand’s domestic sales slipped 7% to 1,470,000 while overseas sales were off 5% to 6,526,000.

Daihatsu gained 3% to 642,000 in Japan and 10% to 224,000 abroad, reflecting its concentration on fuel-sipping minicars in Japan and small cars for export.

Truckmaker Hino saw domestic sales fall 14% to 41,000 in Japan but rise 16% to 69,000 in export markets.

The group sales fall was the first decline since 1998, a Toyota spokeswoman told local media.

Toyota’s global sales rose 6% in 2007 to a record 9.37m vehicles.

The company in December said it expected its first-ever annual operating loss. Along with other Japanese automakers it has been temporarily closing factories in Japan and the US and axing temporary workers.

A local paper on Tuesday said Toyota may lay off another 3,000 ‘temps’ but the automaker declined to confirm or deny that, adding that the need for temporary workers varied according to demand.